Example Trip Itinerary
Arrive at your private villa at Annandale by helicopter and be welcomed with a bottle of champagne.
Accommodation in Annandale
- Four luxury villas sleeping between two and fourteen
- Optional private chef service
- Prepared breakfast, picnic lunch and three-course dinner
Nestled among the rolling hills of the Banks Peninsula are Annandale’s four luxury villas. Each one has its own unique character and enjoys an idyllic and secluded location within the a 40,000-acre working coastal farm. A stay at Annandale allows you to totally immerse yourself in this most incredible of landscapes. On arrival, you will be driven cross-country to your private villa where you can enjoy total seclusion. The Homestead and Scrubby Bay are perfecr for families and groups, sleeping up to 12 and 14 guests respectively. The Homestead, built in the 1800s, features an outdoor swimming pool and floodlit tennis court and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where guests are free to pick flowers from the borders and lemons from the tree. Scrubby Bay is a cedar-clad beach house that looks out over its own private bay. Cosy up in front of the open fire, take a dip in the outdoor pool or simply relax on the decking and gaze out across the water. The most romantic of them all, Seascape features a glass facade so you can make the very best of the incredible ocean views, and the outdoor lounge area with fireplace means you can appreciate your surroundings all year round. The Shepherd’s Cottage is perched on a hill overlooking the sea and the Kaikoura Ranges, a real rural retreat with an open fireplace, wooden ceilings and sheepskin rugs. The farm is home to 500-strong herd of cattle and around 14,000 sheep and various vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown on their land. There is the option to hire a private chef or you can enjoy the ‘We Create, You Serve’ programme where breakfast, a picnic lunch and three-course dinner are prepared and left in your fridge for you to simply pop in the oven and enjoy. Although Annandale’s villas are a chance to escape, there are also a host of activities so you can make the most of the incredible surroundings. Hike through the rolling hills, take to the water in a kayak or explore the rugged terrain on a 4WD adventure – the list is endless.
Enjoy your time at Annandale, whether exploring the 4000 acre farm, hiking, cycling, taking part in a cooking class, fishing, kayaking or out at sea on a scenic cruise aboard Annandale's motorboat. Of course, you can also relax, take in the views and enjoy the wonderful isolation of your private villa.
Private transfer to Kaikoura
Accommodation in Kaikoura
- 12 rooms and suites
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Hot tub and sauna
The work of a family of architects and builders, Hapuku Lodge is an extraordinary ecolodge perfectly placed between the white peaks of the Kaikoura Mountain Range and waves of Mangamaunu Bay. There are four ultra-spacious rooms in the main lodge with wonderful mountain views, Japanese soaking tubs with room for two and immense custom beds – said to be the best on the island. The two suites also have their own fireplaces and a living area. However the real stars of the show are the luxurious treehouses, standing 10m (30 feet) above the ground in the canopy of a native Manuka grove, each with a wood-burning fire place, spa bath, open rain showers and large glass windows with a birds eye view to the coast. There are two storey options for families, and the standalone Olive House Suite has room for two adults and up to three children. Dining at Hapuku means an organic and locally-sourced menu, with produce collected from the hotel’s own herb and vegetable gardens, free range chicken populations and meat from nearby hunters and fishermen. Constantly changing and evolving offerings may include venison, wild blackberries, a variety of cheese, crayfish and even homemade plum ice cream. A comprehensive wine list makes sure to incorporate vintages from all over New Zealand, the ideal accompaniment to a wonderful meal. There are adventures to be had in every corner of Kaikoura’s coast, dubbed the ‘Maritime Serengeti’ by the local National Geographic. Head out on the waves in a sea kayak, swim with dolphins and seals or go whale watching to spot the gentle grey giants in the ocean blue. Mountain bikes can be borrowed from the lodge to traverse the surrounding trails while there are also Maori cultural tours, horse riding and the acclaimed surfing of Mangamaunu Bay a short walk away.
Kaikoura, a quaint village between the snowcapped Kaikoura Range and Pacific Ocean, is a haven for wildlife fanatics and adventure sports enthusiasts alike. For the former, the region has been dubbed the ‘maritime Serengeti’, the sea here one of the best places in New Zealand to go whale and dolphin watching. If you’re here between May and October you may get to witness fur seal pups playing in the water below Ohau Waterfall and the bird watching is another big draw. For the active, there are wonderful hiking and mountain biking trails along the coast, fine surfing, sea kayaking and more.
Visit Ohau Waterfall, a beautiful spot a little way up the coast from Kaikoura. During the winter months, young fur seal pups make their way upstream to the pool beneath the falls, with its waters becoming a creche for playful youngsters. You'll also visit the seal colony at Ohau Point to sea the adults lounging on rocks by the sea.
Whale watching by from the air offers a unique perspective and the opportunity to view whales and dolphins in their natural environment, experiencing the true magnitude of some of the world’s largest animals, and offering a fabulous view for photographers. This scenic flight lasts for around 30 minutes.
Enjoy a scenic drive inland to your accommodation in the the Glaciers and Mount Cook region.
Accommodation in Mount Cook
- 4 Rooms
- Private Spa
- On-site Observatory
- Wine Cellar
- Tennis Court
On the doorstep of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the exclusive Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is set in a forest wilderness by the azure waters of Lake Pukaki, with spectacular, uninterrupted views towards the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook itself, New Zealand’s highest mountain. There is a range of accommodation options, from the private two-bedroom Ashley Mackenzie Villa and the Moraine Villas that overlook the magnificent Ben Ohau ranges, to the two-bedroom Pukaki Homestead, located just 350 metres from the villa. Breakfast provisions and a three-course evening meal are included. Visit the garden and choose your favourite vegetables for dinner. The garden is bursting with berries, herbs and vegetables – for everything else, pureness and authenticity are paramount when it comes to suppliers. The retreat is located in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. In the company of your hosts, enjoy a superb stargazing experience. Guests also have access to a tennis court, pétanque, croquet, and curling rink (winter).
Split your time at the wonder Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat between exploring this incredible region and relaxing back at the lodge. You can explore some of New Zealand’s highest peaks within Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, head out on mountain bikes around the lake, walk to see the vast glaciers found here, go fishing, gaze up at one of the darkest night skies in the world from the observatory, spend time at the Fantail Spa, taste wine and unwind.
Take a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Mt Cook and Westland National Parks and shows you the region from a privileged perspective. You will see beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, the braided river system of the Mackenzie basin, remote high country sheep stations, and New Zealand’s highest mountain Mount Cook, as well as Franz Joseph, Fox and Tasman glaciers.
Fly up to the remote Minaret Station, a remote and exclusive lodge inaccessible by any other means, arriving to a welcome bottle of champagne.
Accommodation in Minaret Station
- 4 rooms
- Culinary options
Accessible only by helicopter, the isolation of Minaret Station is what gives it its unique draw and inescapable rustic beauty. Four simple chalets populate the grounds. Deceptively minimalist from the outside, they foster a pastoral serenity not found in the extravagance of inner city establishments. The luxurious chalets are warm and comfortable with all the modern indulgences and amenities, from sheepskin carpets to spacious en suite bathrooms with underfloor heating, and each has its own private deck with hot tub. With the establishment being a working farm, the cuisine at the hotel is one of seasonal produce and local excellence. Using only the freshest ingredients for their menu, the Mountain Kitchen is connected to all the chalets by a wooden walkway. The gourmet offerings are paired with a fine collection of vintages, making this culinary experience a highlight of your stay. Savour the moment on a deck with sweeping views, in the warm dining room or even in the privacy of your own residence. There is no shortage of things to do here, whether in snow or sunshine. A haven for fishing enthusiasts, there are both saltwater and freshwater opportunities with guided trips leading guests to some of the best spots. For adventure junkies, tackle some of the hiking tracks or hop onto a mountain bike and battle some of the most exhilarating ascents and descents in the country. Jet boats speed along emerald blue waters which carve their ways through lush geographies while nearby Fiordland is the most spectacularly remote national park in New Zealand.
Enjoy your time at this ultra exclusive wilderness retreat. Guides are on hand to lead informative hikes or leisurely excursions around the lodge area, ranging from a gentle walk to neighbouring waterfalls through to more challenging hill climbs from the valley floor, with food always a gourmet treat. For honeymooners, a two hour couples massage as well as an exclusive guided walk and champagne picnic in a remote wilderness setting are included. Additional excursion depend on the season, and range from guided fishing trips to helicopter-borne adventures such as epic heli-skiing, mountain biking and scenic flights.
Transfer to Queenstown via Crown Range and Cardrona Valley, stopping in at the iconic Cardrona pub and at the Cardrona Distillery for a tour and some whisky tasting.
Accommodation in Queenstown
- 16 rooms
- Dining options
Sat on the shores of the deep Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge is a tranquil haven of serene blue waters and sweeping mountain landscapes. Snow-capped peaks reach towards the sky, providing a backdrop like no other to this incredible luxury establishment. Modern, bright and with plenty of room, the 16 suites have been styled by the highly celebrated designer Virginia Fisher. Four suites are found in the main lodge section while others have been built in a native forest with alpine panoramas. All have their own private balcony, lounge area and decadent bathroom, not to mention the cosy fireplace. The sizeable Owner’s Cottage is an idyllic getaway for larger groups or families. Boasting a menu that changes constantly with the availability of seasonal produce, the kitchen at Matakauri Lodge focuses on a clean and fresh experience for the palate. There are a number of settings in which to savour this modern New Zealand cuisine, from the privacy of your own patio to the property’s spacious courtyards. Located near great pine thickets, the spa provides an exclusive space where you can rejuvenate and reinvigorate your body with completely personalised treatments. Fall in love with the heated pool, let off some steam in the sauna or enjoy a leisurely time in the hot tub. Whether you arrive to the long, warm days of summer or to a winter wonderland of snow, there is always so much to do during your stay at Matakauri. Walks and hikes dominate the area, as do scenic horse riding trails and wine tours. Avid golfers will rejoice to know a PGA-rated course is nearby; The Hills is surely one of the most stunning and gorgeously isolated round of 18 you can play anywhere in the world.
- 6 rooms
- Kitchen garden
- Designed by acclaimed designer Neil McLachlan
A relic of stately Victorian elegance, Hulbert House is a luxury villa that operates as one of Queenstown’s oldest residences. Built in 1888, this boutique hotel offers historic charm with contemporary comforts and modern amenities. Transformed by an award-winning designer, the interiors are vibrant while paying tribute to the antiquity of the property. The six luxury suites are all individually designed, carrying through a feeling of old-world opulence with extravagant, bold and fresh furnishing. Each has views over either Lake Wakatipu, Skyline Hill or the well-kept gardens. A scrumptious breakfast of fresh and delicious ingredients waits those early morning risers, while the kitchen can provide tasty snacks throughout the day. Ideally placed, Hulbert House is found in close proximity to many of the attractions of Queenstown, with popular cafes, restaurants and shops all within walking distance. It is also only 450m from the banks of the large Lake Wakatipu and just a little further from the Skyline Gondola and Luge.
- 10 rooms
- Bar with tapas menu
- In-house spa treatments
With a history intertwined with the region’s gold rush, the building of Eichardt’s Private Hotel carries with it the understated and classic elegance of a bygone era. With sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu’s emerald blue waters and eminent mountain peaks, it is a gateway to Queenstown and the untouched wilderness beyond. Choose from Eichardt’s lake view or mountain view suites, or the one- or two-bedroom apartments. For more privacy, or for those looking for a group getaway or family foray, there is the stand-alone three-bed Eichardt’s Residence which has a spacious kitchen, private dining area and sweeping balconies. The hotel bar has been considered a town favourite since 1867, providing the perfect environment in which friends and colleagues can sit down for a refreshing cocktail or a refined vintage from the famed Otago wine region. For those feeling peckish, there are comprehensive tapas menus to suit every palate, with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. The bar also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cosy dining area with a fireplace. From the hotel you can treat yourself to an extensive range of in-room spa treatments provided by a local spa, wander down to the lake edge or head into the heart of the action in bustling Queenstown.
From the towering alpine ranges that envelop Queenstown, to its laidback lakeside sister Wanaka and the incredible Milford Sound, this is easily one of the most spectacular regions of the country. Seek out one of the endless thrills on offer here from skiing, white water rafting, canyon swinging, jet boating, mountain biking and bungy jumping, or slow down to the cosmopolitan pace of life in Queenstown and cool Wanaka and you’ll discover its flourishing arts scene, excellent vineyards, fine dining and quiet lakeside shores where you can take in the incredible scenery. And, of course, Milford Sound with its spectacular 1692m-high Mitre Peak (Rahotu in Maori) is unmissable.
Explore Milford Sounds stunning fiord from the air. Fly the length of Milford Sound past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls, out to the Tasman Sea where you land on a wild West Coast beach. In Milford, enjoy a short nature walk and gain that iconic Mitre Peak photo. Enjoy an exhilarating flight past spectacular rivers, valleys and mountains with blue-green ice falls, and land upon Mt Tutoko glacier in the heart of Fiordland National Park.
Private transfer to Queenstown Airport